Alex Seabrook, local democracy journalist
Innovative temporary housing in Barry helps homeless people get back on track
New innovative and environmentally friendly temporary housing in Barry is helping homeless people get their lives back on track.
The 11 pavilions built on Court Road by the Vale of Glamorgan council opened in August and are already helping people move into permanent accommodation and pursue education.
The energy efficient pavilions were built on the site of an abandoned municipal depot and took six months to be built using modern and innovative construction methods, using a modular design.
Two people staying there spoke about how the Â£ 1million scheme helped them find a safe and secure place to live.
Ryan Davies-Young moved to the Court Road lodges in October, after staying in a hotel near Cardiff Airport for eight months. He said he was eating better now with his own kitchen, was much closer to his family, and found the lodges much quieter than the hotel.
He said: âI have my own space and I have less anxiety in that space because I have a lot of freedom now. I am very close to the city and have family who live nearby. I can go see my family anytime. At the hotel, I had to either walk on a dangerous road or take a bus, and often I didn’t have the money for the bus.
âI can cook for myself and have healthy meals. At the hotel, I ate a lot of potted noodles, didn’t feel very healthy, and was quite depressed. It’s much more comfortable here too. It is a very peaceful place. I have no problems with the neighbors, and they are not often loud, there is no police.
He added that he hopes to work or volunteer soon, is taking a part-time course at Cardiff and Vale College in computer science and hopes to move into a permanent home in the New Year.
Each lodge has an open plan living room, kitchen and dining room, bedroom and private shower room and toilet. Nine of the lodges are for single people and two are for couples. The council assesses the success of the program, before potentially building others elsewhere in the valley.
The council said most singles stay in temporary accommodation for between a year and 18 months, before moving to a permanent home. Families tend to stay in temporary accommodation for a shorter period of time, around two or three months.
Adam Tipton moved there in August, after living in shared accommodation in Barry. He became homeless in March this year after his mother, with whom he lived and looked after, died of cancer. At first he was sent to a hotel in Rhoose for a few months and began to suffer from drugs and alcohol.
But having a stable and personal place in the Court Road boxes has helped him find a “new purpose and a new motivation”. He said: âI was falling deeper and deeper into the wrong path, because of my disappearance. When my mom passed away, I was with her the whole time, and then I didn’t know where I was going. I had a goal, but I was lost.
âBut then I was put here. Now, I volunteer to be a counselor, I help people with drug addiction and drug addiction, and I mentor young people. I try to give back, all because of this place. I settled down, because of the stability.
âIt’s a safe and secure environment here. While in shared accommodation, you live with five other people you don’t know, and your bedroom door is your front door. There is no room for progress or to improve. It’s just a place to sleep. Here you have your own space, kitchen, bathroom and independence. When you feel stable, secure, and secure, then you will try to do better things.
He added that he was starting a counseling course in January and planned to go to college in the future and possibly start his own counseling business.
The only problem with the new housing, both residents said, was that there was no internet, forcing residents to resort to expensive options such as phone contracts with unlimited data.
Mr. Davies-Young said, âThis is my only complaint about the lodges. Everything is great, you just need the internet so that would be great.
Mr. Tipton added, âYou need the Internet for everything, like taking classes. They are working on it though and they have submitted it to the board. I can understand why there weren’t any. But that’s the only thing, and there are ways around it.
Although there are currently only 11 lodges, Vale’s council is monitoring the success of the accommodation, before deciding whether to expand the program to help house more of the 325 people registered as homeless in the area. valley of Glamorgan.